Bribe-Taking in the Church

Deuteronomy 10:17-18 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. (18) He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

Romans 2:11 For God shows no partiality.

Galatians 2:6 And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)–those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.

1 Timothy 5:21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

True justice is much rarer in this world than we might believe.  Human beings, including judges, are not completely impartial.  Justice (as the blindfolded lady with the balance scales illustrates) is supposed to be blind, weighing the evidence with complete objectivity.  But we are not completely objective.  Justice is not totally blind, so decisions and rulings are very often tainted with injustice.  Not so with God as Judge.  His rulings conform to perfect righteousness, and by it He will one day judge the world by His appointed Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible condemns the taking of bribes.  One of the most wicked sins in Israel, condemned by the Lord, was that the leaders oppressed the poor because the rich paid them bribes to rule in their favor.  Such people should fear God’s wrath:

Exodus 23:7-8 Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. (8) And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

Often, the Bible connects injustice to widows and orphans and other weak, defenseless people to the taking of bribes.  Bribes, as Exodus says, blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.  By their very nature, bribes originate from people who have money and influence and power.  The weak and helpless cannot pay a bribe – they have nothing to pay it with!  And so it is very often in the case of victims of abuse.  Their abuser has the resources, they do not.  The abuser is often a person of influence and reputation, unlike the victim.  So justice is perverted.  Bribes are given and accepted.  The judge is blind – but in this case he is blind to what is right.

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More Typical Lies Laid Upon Abuse Victims by Those Duped by Evil

I am not going to say anything new in this post. You have all heard it before. But we need to hear it, before, now, and again and again.

An abuse victim who has been targeted not only by her abuser, but by her family members, by her pastor, by the pastor’s wife (I need to write a post about pastor’s wives and how they so often enable the abuser), and by other church members in her church, told me some of the things she is being told:

  • Give him a chance
  • We must forgive people
  • He wants you back
  • He is hurting
  • Stop running from your problems
  • The Bible says for better or worse
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself

Now, this stuff just makes my blood boil. Lies. All lies. Let me make a few observations and I imagine you all will have some also —

  • Give him a chance — that is what the victim HAS been doing, often for decades!  Yeah, give him a chance to abuse and destroy you all over again.
  • We must forgive people — Really? Does God forgive everyone? Does God forgive when there is no repentance? NO! Does forgiveness necessitate reconciliation? NO!
  • He wants you back — Oh man, you can’t invent this stuff. Yes, he wants her back alright. So his kingdom reign of power and control can be reinstituted in full measure.
  • He is hurting – Oh really. So this means that the people saying these things to the victim have been in contact with the abuser, listening to his plays for pity. They are his allies now. He is hurting? Well how about the victim’s hurts? How is it no one seems to even think about how she has suffered? This is pure EVIL.
  • Stop running from your problems — Ok, well, the next time someone points a gun at your head, or puts poison in your drink, don’t run. Just stand there. Just drink up. And the fact is, abuse victims who leave their abuser, who start calling him on his evil, ARE ceasing to run from their problems! They are now facing those problems square on.
  • The Bible says for better or worse — Now this is rich. I will give $1000 to any of these people who can show me chapter and verse on that one. You see, people take statements made by man and they hear it so often in sermons, and in their laziness they don’t check it out, and pretty soon they elevate it to the Word of God. In addition, “for better or worse” was never meant to mean “you must endure even the most cruel wickedness from your spouse no matter what.”
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself — Time to get a clue. The person who is feeling sorry for himself is not the victim. It is the abuser. WE must stop feeling sorry for him because his pity ploys are largely how he enlists us as his allies.

To people who lay this cruel garbage on victims, I say go. Just go. Go away and learn what God means when He says He desires mercy, not sacrifice. Close your lips. In the meanwhile, we are done listening to you.

 

The Lord is Against the Wicked and Defends The Oppressed

 

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalms 1:1-6)

The Lord pronounces His blessing and favor upon His people, and announces His curse upon His enemies, especially those who persecute His sheep. He promised the Thessalonian church that He is coming to set it all right –

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